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Windows 11 is bringing gamers auto HDR, better loading times, and more

‘Windows 11 is made for gaming.’

windows 11 gaming
Image: Microsoft

The Microsoft Windows 11 event is well underway, and the company has already given us some juicy looks and insight into the new Windows operating system which should release later this year.

One of the major focuses early on in the presentation was gaming on Windows, and there are some exciting new changes coming to PC gaming with the next operating system upgrade.

To lead off the presentation’s coverage of gaming on Windows 11, Sarah Bond, Corporate Vice President of Xbox, talked about the all-new automatic HDR enhancement of over 1,000 games on Windows 11.

HDR is a great way to enhance colors and lighting in games, and the new Windows update is automatically adding this effect to over 1,000 games, including favorites like Rocket League, DayZ, and Age of Empires: Definitive Edition.

auto hdr in windows 11
Image: Microsoft

Next on the agenda for gaming with Windows 11 was the introduction of Direct Storage. Originally introduced and implemented with the Xbox Series X|S, Direct Storage is a great way to decrease load times by relieving stress from the CPU.

Direct Storage allows game assets to load directly to the GPU, bypassing the CPU allowing for better utilization of your PC’s resources. This feature has been around since the launch of the Xbox Series X|S in November of last year, so it’s great to see it finally coming to Windows.

Xbox Game Pass for Windows 11

windows 11 xbox game pass
Image: Microsoft

And of course, what would a Microsoft event be without the mention of Xbox’s Game Pass? Game Pass is an exceedingly growing gaming membership that gives users access to an ever-evolving library of hundreds of games. And now, Game Pass has been completely integrated into Windows 11.

Games from both Xbox Studios and newly acquired Bethesda Softworks are available to Game Pass subscribers on day one. Additionally, Game Pass includes all of EA Play, as well as dozens of other games from various third-party developers.

With Windows 11, all of Game Pass can be found in one place, through the Xbox App for PC. One of the coolest new features is the addition of Xbox Cloud Gaming directly to the app. Xbox Cloud Gaming was previously only available through a web browser.

Microsoft wrapped up the gaming portion of the Windows 11 reveal event by emphasizing the wide connectivity found on Windows PCs. Windows is the platform with the “broadest hardware support in the world,” giving users the ability to connect millions of different gaming peripherals, like controllers, racing wheels, and mechanical keyboards.

Windows 11 seems like a pretty exciting update for gamers. The complete integration of Xbox Game Pass combined with the new Automatic HDR and Direct Storage features from the Xbox Series X|S should make for some exciting improvements for PC gaming.

I’ll leave you with Microsoft’s last message for the PC gamers out there: “Windows 11 is made for gaming.”

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at alex@knowtechie.com

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